Police believe the theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of car batteries from the Walmart in Westminster was part of a string of thefts in and around Carroll County.
Richard Lee Turner, 21, of Baltimore was charged with theft valued between $1,500 and $25,000, conspiracy to commit theft, fourth-degree burglary and malicious destruction of property valued less than $1,000. He was being held without bail after a Tuesday bail review, according to electronic court records.
According to the statement of charges, Westminster police officers responded to the store on Feb. 16 for a report of batteries stolen from an outside fenced area. Staff of the store give police video footage that showed a truck driving up to the rear of the store. Four individuals got out and began cutting the chain-link fence and cage where tires and batteries are kept, according to the statement of charges, then the four loaded a palette of 50 batteries into the vehicle before leaving.
The video indicated that the alleged theft occurred between 2:07 and 2:13 a.m. Feb. 16 of this year. Store employees estimated that the value of the 50 batteries was about $8,038 and that the individuals caused about $20 worth of damage to the fence, according to the statement.
Westminster police contacted a Carroll County Sheriff’s Office detective who was investigating multiple battery thefts with the assistance of the Anne Arundel County Police Department and Maryland State Police. The detective noted that the company that owned the truck used to transport the suspects and batteries would have installed an onboard GPS. The detective subpoenaed the company for that GPS data, according to the statement.
On March 25, Turner was arrested in Baltimore County alongside two other individuals as a result of the collaborative investigation, according to the statement.
On April 15, the Westminster Police Department received the GPS data, and analysis showed Turner’s truck in the area of the Westminster Walmart at the date and time of the alleged theft, according to the statement.
The warrant for Turner associated with the Feb. 16 theft was served Tuesday, according to electronic court records.
According to electronic court records, police had suspected Turner in a string of thefts that stretched across Carroll and Anne Arundel counties, as well as into other states.